Fabrication of Wood Fiber-rubber Composites with Reclaimed Rubber

Dongwei Shao, Min Xu, Liping Cai, Sheldon Q. Shi

Abstract


This research investigated the use of reclaimed rubber (RR) from waste tires to partially replace the rubber compound (RC) when making wood fiber-rubber composites (WRCs). Ninety panels of WRC containing RR were manufactured with RR contents of 0% to 40%, mixing times of 6 min to 14 min, and vulcanizing temperatures of 150 °C to 170 °C. There were three steps, which were the fiber-rubber mixing, tabletting, and vulcanization molding processes. Four regression equations for the tensile strength, elongation at break, hardness, and rebound resilience as functions of the RR content, mixing time, and vulcanizing temperature were derived, and a nonlinear programming model was developed to obtain the optimum panel properties. It was found that when the RR content was within 20%, the wood fibers were well encapsulated and embedded in the RC/RR blends, and the processability of the WRCs were improved by adding RR. The incorporation of RR into the WRCs increased the average tensile strength and hardness by 33.9% and 2.3%, respectively, while the swelling ratio in toluene and 24-h water absorption were reduced by 13% and 42%, respectively.

Keywords


Wood rubber composites (WRCs); Reclaimed rubber (RR); Panel properties; Nonlinear programming model

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